Boortmalt and IFA strike two-year deal
A two-year malting barley deal between Boortmalt and IFA for the 2017 and 2018 harvests allows growers sell up to 15pc of this year's brewing barley crop at the fixed price offer of €164/t.
"This week's fixed price offer of €164/t represents a premium of €38/t over recent offers for spring feeding barley," IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy said.
"Under the new deal, growers from this Wednesday and every Wednesday until mid-July, have an opportunity to participate in price hedging for both the 2017 and 2018 crop. The two-year window for hedging will give growers greater exposure to better price opportunities."
However, some farmer opposition to the deal was voiced at recent grower meetings.
Malting barley growers are particularly concerned that the low protein levels required for distilling barley, which makes up around 30pc of malting barley contracts, will hit yields.
However, IFA sources pointed out that overall output of malting barley had grown from 60,000t to 150,000t on the back of the expansion in the brewing and distilling sectors.
"Very significant progress has been made over the last seven years in rebuilding Ireland's malting barley industry.
"The focus by growers and Boortmalt on supplying quality Irish malting barley and malt has successfully displaced imports of brewing malt onto the island and seen the demand for malting barley grow by 250pc," said Mr Kennedy.